The Hudson Democrats have made eliminating or rebalancing the weighted vote a plank in their 2013 platform. Democratic mayoral candidate Victor Mendolia has suggested that an easy way to achieve better balance would be to create a Sixth Ward by dividing the Fifth Ward into two wards using the current election district boundaries.
This review of the weighted vote is by way of introducing another discovery made over the weekend: this item, which appeared in the Hudson Daily Evening Register for April 30, 1886, soon after the creation of the Fifth Ward. The text is transcribed below.
The Additional Ward for Hudson.Now that the bill creating an additional Ward for this city has become law, there is much inquiry as to how and when the law goes into effect. The Act provides that--
"At the annual election for city and ward officers to be held in said city on the first Tuesday of December, eighteen hundred and eighty-six, there shall be elected in said Fifth Ward, one alderman to serve for the term of one year, from the first day of January next succeeding his election, and one alderman to serve for the term of two years from such first day of January, and thereafter the alderman annually elected in said ward shall serve for the term of two years from the first day of January next succeeding his election. * * * There shall be elected in said Fifth ward, at the annual election for city and ward officers, to be held in said city on the first Tuesday of December, eighteen hundred and eight-six, and annually thereafter, one supervisor, who shall serve for said ward."While it is not entirely clear, it seems that the Fifth Ward may have started out having only one alderman, who was elected first, in an even year, to a one-year term, so he could get on the same cycle as the rest of the aldermen, who were, as they still are today, elected at the end of an odd year to start their two-year terms at the beginning of an even year. One alderman from the Fifth Ward may have been a way of achieving representation proportionate to population, since in 1886, the Fifth Ward was definitely more sparsely populated than the other wards. This map of the Fifth Ward is from the 1888 Beers Atlas.